Quieter side: Montvue ranch sprawls like its land

Address: 2700 Magnolia Drive
Neighborhood: Montvue in Albemarle County
Asking: $559,000
Assessment: $467,200
Year Built: 1960
Size: 4,676 fin. sq. ft.
Land: 4.538 acres
Agent: Tommy Brannock, Better Homes and Garden Real Estate III, 434-977-3033
Curb Appeal: 7 out of 10

The Montvue neighborhood is just under two miles from the Barracks Road Shopping Center as the crow flies, and its Magnolia Drive consists of a small enclave tucked beside a park-like, wooded ravine. While there are power lines along the road, most of the scenery is private and secluded– for now. It should be noted that about a third of a mile away, on the opposite side of this neighborhood, lies the path of the proposed Western Bypass, what appears to be an imminent reality with nine companies vying for the opportunity to construct it.

This single-story-plus-basement ranch was built when brick and solid wood were the materials of choice. Anyone who appreciates homes of this era will find the structure remains unaltered. The addition of a pergola at the entryway adds architectural interest in a traditional Charlottesville style. 

A 15-light glass door creates a sun-filled foyer, roomy enough for a console table. Beyond, the living room stretches along the rear giving tranquil daytime views of the woods through two large windows currently accented with pale blue drapes. In the evening, there is a wood-burning fireplace on which to focus.

The wainscoted formal dining room can comfortably accommodate sideboards around a table for eight and a passage door leads to the authentic 1960s kitchen. There, vintage knotty-pine cabinets, soft yellow laminate countertops, and a classic white enamel stove are all intact. Those who embrace the look will have fun adding retro Lu-ray dinnerware.

In place of a table and chairs, there is space to install more cabinetry. Alternatively, the kitchen could really pop with the addition of an island and stools. Adjacent is the pine-paneled study of yesteryear– today's media room. A door leads onto the deck for dining. Across the driveway, there is a two-car garage and a large pen for a pooch.

The first floor has continuous hardwood floors leading into all three bedrooms. There are two full-bathrooms featuring original pastel tile with updated octagon floor tiles, white-painted vanities, and porcelain sinks. One bath is located within the master suite, adjacent to a walk-in closet. The bedrooms are moderately-sized but have lots of natural light.

A stairway from the living room leads up to a bonus room where the current owner created a workspace by finishing the attic walls and adding two skylights. The original pine flooring remains, and a portion of the room is sectioned off for storage. It’s a great hideaway for a craft room or a children’s playroom; and with some additional work, this area would make a fabulous master bedroom suite.

In the walkout level, one can play billiards in the family room or lounge around a second fireplace. French doors bring sunlight in and access out to a patio and another pergola-shaded party area– poolside. The 575 square-foot in-ground swimming pool has been recently refurbished, so it appears ready for summertime fun. The updated tile bathroom just inside the house serves swimmers or guests, who can overnight in this level's paneled bedroom. A large workshop/storage area fills the remaining space behind the family room.

A unique feature of this property is the one-room cottage built in 2008 by the owners, located in the midst of the tree-covered backyard. This cathedral-ceilinged, light-filled sanctuary appears ideal for a writer’s retreat.

A ridge separates this eastern side of the neighborhood from the western, or Bypass, side of Montvue. That's a good thing because bypasses are better when neither seen nor heard.
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Another black eye for real estate prices in Albemarle County.

Good luck - " about a third of a mile away, on the opposite side of this neighborhood, lies the path of the proposed Western Bypass "

4,676 fin. SF??? Assessor's records show 1,911 finished square feet. And 956 finished in the basement. Assessments don't show any construction for an addition. So where did that extra square footage come from?

Assessor says "one-room cottage" is a 140 SF "storage building" built in 2008.

What's up?

Imagine a real estate ad with exaggeration in it. Who knew?

Purchased in 2003 for $475K and they added a deck plus the "cottage"..
That explains the over-assessment pricing. Still $560K puts you in competition with larger and newer houses with acreage. Albemarle is saturated with $500K+ houses that are having no luck selling.

4.5 acres in the urban ring does not come cheap.
"Albemarle is saturated with $500K+ houses that are having no luck selling."
The city is saturated with $300k- that it has no hope of selling. People in the price range have a hard time getting a loan. However, most of the sales in the county are $300k+.

This is my "leave it to Beaver" dream house, but I have a "Sanford and Sons" budget.